Bhagwan Das, an Indian Theosophist and public figure who served a lifetime in the Central Legislative of India of British India. He was part of the freedom movement, but education and academics were his vocation. Among other academic bodies, he was the founder of the Kashi Vidyapeeth. On September 18, we observe the death anniversary of Bharat Ratna Bhagwan Das.
Das became allied with the Hindustani Culture Society and was active in opposing rioting as a form of protest. As an advocate for national freedom from the British rule, he was often in danger of reprisals from the Colonial government. He was awarded the Bharat Ratna Award in 1955.
On the occasion of his death anniversary, here’s everything you must know about the Bharat Ratna recipient, Bhagwan Das:
- Das was born in Varanasi, India on January 12, 1869, into a landholding family of bankers.
- After completing his schooling, he became a Deputy Collector and magistrate in Uttar Pradesh from 1890 to 1899. Later in life, he was honored with an LL.D (Doctor of Laws) degree at Banaras and Allahabad.
- In 1900, he was awarded the Subba Row Medal by the Theosophical Society in recognition of his contributions to Theosophical literature.
- In 1921, working with Babu Shiv Prasad Gupt, he founded the Kashi Vidya Pith, a national University which has since been renamed Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth. He served as the first vice-chancellor. Kashi Vidya Peeth is the first Indian University founded by Indians.
- Das was a very active supporter of Indian nationalism and freedom from British rule.
- In 1921, Das was sentenced to one-year imprisonment by the British for association with the Non-Cooperative Movement, but was released after only five weeks on a motion of the Government.
- For several years Das served on the All-India Congress Committee and was elected to the Legislative Assembly in Uttar Pradesh in 1934.
- In 1955, Dr. Bhagawan Das was awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award for his achievements in literature and education.
- Bhagwan Das died on Septmber 18, 1958.